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Culminating Activities for the End of the Year for Fifth Grade

by Anne Reynolds

The end of fifth grade marks a stepping stone for many kids, signaling the conclusion of elementary school and a new journey into middle school. Students may feel both thrilled and overwhelmed by the transition, which makes it tough for teachers to steer students back to the academic tasks of the classroom, according to PBS. Combining scholastic and fun social activities will help both teachers and students wrap up the fifth grade year in a concise, entertaining manner.

Language and Literacy

By the time most fifth graders have reached the last month of school, they have become literate readers and skillful writers. Tap into this creativity by assigning activities which help them reflect on their journey through elementary school. Make a book illustrating key moments, both personal and academic, from kindergarten through fifth grade. Possible topics for each year can include most enjoyable and least favorite subject, a new hobby or sport that was learned and key national events, such as a presidential election. Place students into groups, brainstorming on useful tips next year’s incoming fifth graders will need to know. Create posters to hang around fourth grade rooms during the last week of school.

Math and Science

Fifth graders learn how to solve complex problems through observation, conclusion and application. Evaluate if a student's baby height equates to his current growth rate. Make a chart listing each child's height when they were born. Create a floor math graph, then make a horizontal and vertical axis out of masking tape, marking off foot and inch sections on each axis. Write each student’s name on a piece of tape. Instruct one student to lie down with his feet on the x-axis and another classmate to mark his height using the appropriate masking tape. List each child's current height and discuss if each student is on target based on growth percentiles.

Social Studies

Many fifth-grade classes take a historical field trip at the end of the school year. Add a twist to usual writing assignments about what students observed. Create a list, instructing students to locate certain items during the field trip. After the excursion, assign students the task of finding similar objects in their house -- such as a cell phone, comparing it to a 19th-century wall phone. Students can illustrate objects explaining how the item has changed or remained the same. Designate pairs producing mock five-minute television talk shows. Interview a historical figure who was alive during their early elementary school years, such as President Obama or Steve Jobs. Allow students to decide who will be the host and who will be the interviewee.

Social Activities

Put aside academics to host some fun social activities. Invite family members to a potluck lunch, eating outside on school grounds and playing games, including parent/child sack races and water balloon toss. Give a taste of middle school, passing out mock schedules. Ask the office to announce when it’s time to go to the next class. Culminate the event with an ice cream social. Bind a few blank pages together making autograph memory books. After students decorate, carve out a time to meet outside with other classes collecting autographs.

About the Author

Anne Reynolds is a writer who has worked for the U.S. government, the public school system and as a public library specialist. She began writing in 1990 and has contributed articles to various online publications.

Photo Credits

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